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Cavan bounce back with impressive all round performance to beat Meath

Feb 5, 2020

LIDL National Football League Division 2 Round 2

Cavan: 3-10

Meath: 2-05

By: Aideen Coyle Cavan Ladies PRO.

At St. Matthew’s Park, Crosskey’s


Cavan ladies played host to neighbours Meath in the National League round 2 last Sunday in Crosskey’s. Having lost to Kerry by the narrowest of margins the week previous the ladies needed a result to get their hopes of gaining promotion back on track. Meath made the perfect start to the league with an eight point victory over Tyrone in round 1.


James Daly made two changes to his team that started against the Kingdom. Lauren McVeety made her first National league start at wing back in place of Mona Sheridan while Catherine Dolan started at half forward in place of Geraldine Smith after starring off the bench the week previous.

Cavan started the brightest scoring 1-03 without reply inside the opening three minutes. The game could have started much differently however as Roisin O’Reilly was called into action straight from the throw-in pulling off an impressive save to deny Kelsey Nesbitt’s shot at goal. Cavan went on the attack from the rebound and got their first score from Roisin O’Keeffe.  Cavan pressurised the Meath kick out from the off and won the subsequent kick out leading to Aisling Maguire’s first score.

Less than a minute later Aisling Maguire’s Crossfield ball found the path of Sinead Greene who fisted over for Cavan’s third score. Meath struggled to get the ball out of their own half much to the credit of the hard working Cavan forwards. Ciara Finnegan who was the leader of the defence forced Meath out over the line for a Cavan a side-line. From the line ball Finnegan played through Aisling Gilsenan who rattled the net with a well-executed finish to the top right corner.

Meath got their first score from wing forward Emma Duggan before Gilsenan cancelled it out with another point after a quick side-line this time from Shauna Lynch. With 8 minutes on the clock Meath got their first goal. A clever quick free from Emma Duggan caught the Cavan defence sleeping and set up Kelsey Nesbitt who made no mistake this time finding the net. However it took Cavan less than a minute to reply with a goal of their own this time Catherine Dolan with the finish after a powerful run through the Meath defence.

Cavan continued to dominate possession and from the resulting kick out could have had another goal this time Lauren McVeety was played through but saw her shot saved and out for a 45 by all-star goalkeeper McGuirk.  Aisling Maguire played the 45 to McVeety who made no mistake this time sending the ball over the bar to stretch the lead to 7.

The Cavan back line led by Shauna Lynch and Sinead Greene worked tirelessly inside the opening quarter making it difficult for Meath to get scores. A double block from Laura Fitzpatrick and Neasa Byrd on Bridgetta Lynch highlighting the work rate of the Breffni girls. Cavan closed out the half with three more points, Aisling Gilsenan and an Aisling Maguire double. As the half drew to a close Joanne Moore came on in place of the injured Ciara Finnegan. Half time score Cavan 2-08 Meath 1-01.

Meath again won the throw-in and went straight on the attack this time winning a free on the edge of the square which Duggan stepped up to and converted. Cavan were then reduced to 14 players for the next 10 minutes as full back Niamh Keenaghan was shown a yellow card. However Cavan continued to work hard and outscored the visitors 1-1 to a single point inside this timeframe.

Roisin O’Keeffe added a goal to her personal tally. After patient build up play from Cavan Shauna Lynch and Catherine Dolan combined to play through O’Keeffe who gave McGuirk no chance firing the ball into the roof of the net. At the other end Lynch who was outstanding throughout, made an excellent block on Aoibhin Cleary to deny the midfielder a score. Mona Sheridan came on in place of O’Keeffe as Emma Duggan converted another free.

With 10 minutes played the lively Stacey Grimes thought her powerful shot had O’Reilly beaten in the goals but watched on as it rebounded off the post. However 5 minutes later O’Reilly could do nothing to prevent the free from Duggan drop over her head and into the net. Duggan followed this up with another converted free to finish with a personal tally of 1-04 and reduce the deficit to 7 points. This was to be the closest the visitors would get as Cavan closed out the game and kept the Meath forwards at bay with some excellent defending while giving a masterful display of blocking.

Geraldine Sheridan came on in place of Aisling Gilsenan who worked tirelessly in the full forward line all game. As the game drew to a close Emma White and Aisling Maguire traded the final scores of the game to give the victory to the home side.

Cavan will welcome bottom of the table Wexford to St. Matthews Park Crosskey’s next Sunday at 2pm. The visitors will be desperate for a win having recorded two heavy defeats in the opening two rounds at the hands of Kerry and Monaghan.

Cavan Scorers: Aisling Maguire 0-05 (0-03f), Aisling Gilsenan 1-02, Roisin O’Keeffe 1-01, Catherine Dolan 1-00, Sinead Greene 0-01, Lauren McVeety 0-01.

Meath Scorers: Emma Duggan 1-04 (1-03f), Kelsey Nesbitt 1-00, Emma White 0-01.

Cavan: Roisin O’Reilly, Rachael Doonan, Niamh Keenaghan, Sheila Reilly, Sinead Greene, Shauna Lynch, Lauren McVeety, Neasa Byrd (C), Donna English, Laura Fitzpatrick, Roisin O’Keeffe, Catherine Dolan, Aisling Gilsenan, Aisling Maguire, Ciara Finnegan

Subs used: Joanne Moore for C. Finnegan, Mona Sheridan for R. O’Keeffe,  Geraldine Sheridan for A. Gilsenan, Elaine Walsh for R. O’Reilly

Meath: Monica McGuirk, Katie Newe, Mary Kate Lynch, Sarah Powderly, Emma Troy, Shauna Ellis, Stacey Grimes, Marie O’Shaughnessy (C), Aoibhin Cleary, Emma Duggan, Vikki Wall, Kelsey Nesbitt, Orla Byrne, Bridgetta Lynch, Kate Byrne/

Subs used: Emma White, Shelly Melia, Niamh Galloghy.

Referee:  Garryowen McMahon (Mayo)

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